10 thoughts about the new iPads and their pricing

Apple had another one of their keynotes today, announcing new iPad models. (You can stream the entire event at apple.com if you have the time!) As an avid Apple fan, it is always exciting to see if there are any surprises about the releases that weren’t in the rumors online. Pricing of the new second generation iPad mini came as a surprise for me. The prices in the photo above are US prices. What is annoying for me, as a Canadian, is that price parity is no longer in effect now. Canadians are now spending at least $20 more for each model (I do realize that the Canadian dollar is not at parity at the time being).

Here are 10 thoughts about the new models and pricing scheme, in no particular order:

  1. In terms of the iPad mini, Apple is gouging their customers by raising the base price from $329 to $399. The price disparity between a mini and regular iPad used to be $170 ($329 vs. $499). Now, it is only $100. Most consumers will probably now opt to pay the extra $100 to spring for the larger iPad Air.
  2. Keeping the exact same first generation iPad mini is wise, but Apple should have lowered the price even more. At perhaps $249, they would have sold even more millions of units.
  3. Now, owners who purchased the original iPad mini one year ago will probably not want (or need) to upgrade right away. They would probably be able to sell their 16GB models for around $260 used, but would have to shell out around an additional $170-$200 extra to get the Retina display model. Our school set of iPad minis is still current!
  4. Keeping the iPad 2 in production is unwise. This is a model that has been around for 2.5(!) years already. For the same price, one must get the iPad mini with Retina. No question.
  5. The form factor of the iPad Air makes the old iPad models really seem outdated. No one will complain about the thinner bezels on the sides. Well, actually, one of my grade five students today told me he preferred the larger bezel, in case it would fall and break on the side. However, the look and feel of the new Air will please just about everyone.
  6. If you haven’t upgraded your iPad since the iPad 1 or 2, now is a great time to do so: You will love the Retina display, along with the incredibly fast A7 chip on both the iPad Air and iPad mini with Retina. This is the same chip installed in the iPhone 5s. I guess these factors will almost justify the price increase of the mini, although it came as quite a surprise.
  7. The pricing of the iPad Air is fair: It follows the same pricing structure of the previous generations. No complaints here (except for maybe people who only recently purchased the iPad 4!)
  8. My simple take on which model to get: If you commute on public transit, get the mini hands-down. The smaller form factor will be beneficial. If you plan on doing a lot of content-creation (what I REALLY encourage!), get the iPad Air. The extra $100 difference will be well spent, in terms of screen real estate.
  9. At least here in Canada, there is no need to consider getting the Cellular model. If you have a cell phone plan with a generous data plan, tethering it to your iPad just takes a few taps on each device. I once met a guy who said that he found those steps tedious, so he said he would rathe pr just pay for two data plans, toalling almost $100/month! This all being said, if you travel abroad a lot, that could be one reason to pay the extra $120 for the Cellular model.
  10. Finally, it will come to no surprise that these models (minus the iPad 2) will dominate the Christmas shopping season. Timing of the release is perfect. Apple is releasing the iPad Air On November 1, with the new iPad mini a few weeks later. Genius marketing in my opinion. The iPad mini with Retina display will be the hottest item on a lot of people’s Christmas lists.

Have you been holding out on purchasing an iPad? Will you be getting one of these models? Let us know in the comments!

3 Comments Add yours

  1. Ray says:

    Before you change or upgrade your ipad ask yourself one simple question. What am I doing with this thing? If your needs haven’t changed in the whopping 2.5 years since you bought your still functional ipad, why spend another 500 plus taxes and accessories? someone tell me what the new ipad model can do that the older model can’t do. Retina display is nice but is it enough to upgrade? i don’t think so.

  2. Thanks for your comment, Ray. I agree for the most part. We will never be able to keep up with the constant upgrades. However, the processing power of the iPad Air vs. that of an iPad 2 will come in very handy for those who wish to do more heavy-duty content creation. Thoughts?

    1. Ray says:

      Increases to processing power and ram are never going to hurt you performance wise. My concern is with generating unnecessary e-waste, when the Ipads are 2 years old and still very functional. I would like to see computer manufactures start a trade-in program and used the traded in equipment to support schools and other community projects. A plan such as this would allow for units to be re-used or recycled, rather than discarded and could put these products into hands that would otherwise not be able to obtain them.

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